Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: March ::
Re: Shaw on Actors' Accents
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0506  Monday, 17 March 2003

[1]     From:   Ted Dykstra <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 14 Mar 2003 11:21:50 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0489 Re: Shaw on Actors' Accents

[2]     From:   Michael Shurgot <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 14 Mar 2003 10:38:29 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.0489 Re: Shaw on Actors' Accents

[3]     From:   James Doyle <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Sunday, 16 Mar 2003 11:28:32 -0000
        Subj:   Shaw and Actors' Accents


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ted Dykstra <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 14 Mar 2003 11:21:50 EST
Subject: 14.0489 Re: Shaw on Actors' Accents
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0489 Re: Shaw on Actors' Accents

I would love a definition of High Culture, please.

Your servant,
Ted Dykstra

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Shurgot <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 14 Mar 2003 10:38:29 -0800
Subject: 14.0489 Re: Shaw on Actors' Accents
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.0489 Re: Shaw on Actors' Accents

Dear Colleagues:

This whole "bit" about accents and high culture and King Lear is
amusing, but at times seems irrelevant. Why would the Oregon Shakespeare
Festival or Chicago Shakespeare Company or the NY Shakespeare Festival
need high sounding British accents to convince their spectators to take
seriously a production of Lear? Lear n'er spoke RP, now did he? Should
we check the vocal patterns of patrons buying tickets at an American
production of Lear just to be sure that they are sufficiently high class
and "cultured" before they can enter the theatre? Since when is one's
speaking patterns a sign of culture?

God bless Yogi Berra!

Enjoy the weekend.

Regards,
Michael Shurgot

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James Doyle <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 16 Mar 2003 11:28:32 -0000
Subject:        Shaw and Actors' Accents

In response to my comment about accents in Blood Wedding, Dana Shilling
said:

>No, of course not--what we call "a Spanish accent" is "someone whose
>first language is Spanish speaking English." A production of Blood
>Wedding uses the convention that the English translation really "is"
>Spanish, so everyone speaks "perfectly." However, if the play involves
>class or regional conflicts, it might make sense to have "Oxbridge" and
>"Cockney" accents as an English equivalent.

But the point you make about everyone 'really' speaking Spanish applies,
to my mind, equally to a Shakespeare production produced with an
American cast, or an American play with an all-British cast - whether
there is a complete translation to another language, or simply,
overlaying a different set of regional, class, or other accents, the
audience could, as part of their suspension of disbelief, read the
characters as speakign the language the author intended.

In Casablanca, accents are important precisely because the characters
have
different origins, so the accents are there as pointers to that.  And
Ilsa
has an accent because Ingrid Bergman did - it might be that the
character
was written to her, but she didn't put on an accent to fit the role.

Also, Ted Dykstra seems to think that class is still enormously
important in England - not where I'm from it isn't!  I can tell nothing
about class from a person's accent, nor can they tell anything from
mine.  I speak pretty much RP - my father was a sailor from Liverpool
(scouse accent), my mother from Hartlepool (strong NE accent), both
working class.  Amongst my circle of friends, there are a huge range of
regional accents, which do tell me something, but people's accents have
little connection with their social upbringing or current standing.
Maybe in certain circles it's a matter of importance, but not to most
people!

Regards,
james doyle

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.